Metallic glass composites represent a unique alloy design strategy comprising of in situ crystalline dendrites in an amorphous matrix to achieve damage tolerance unseen in conventional structural materials. They are promising for a range of advanced applications including spacecraft gears, high-performance sporting goods and bio-implants, all of which demand high surface degradation resistance. Here, we evaluated the phase-specific electrochemical and friction characteristics of a Zr-based metallic glass composite, Zr56.2Ti13.8Nb5.0Cu6.9Ni5.6Be12.5, which comprised roughly of 40\% by volume crystalline dendrites in an amorphous matrix. The amorphous matrix showed higher hardness and friction coefficient compared to the crystalline dendrites. But sliding reciprocating tests for the composite revealed inter-phase delamination rather than preferred wearing of one phase. Pitting during potentiodynamic polarization in NaCl solution was prevalent at the inter-phase boundary, confirming that galvanic coupling was the predominant corrosion mechanism. Scanning vibration electrode technique demonstrated that the amorphous matrix corroded much faster than the crystalline dendrites due to its unfavorable chemistry. Relative work function values measured using scanning kelvin probe showed the amorphous matrix to be more electropositive, which explain its preferred corrosion over the crystalline dendrites as well as its characteristic friction behavior. This study paves the way for careful partitioning of elements between the two phases in a metallic glass composite to tune its surface degradation behavior for a range of advanced applications. © 2018 The Author(s).